NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam this week signed legislation by two Hamilton County lawmakers that ends Tennessee cities' ability to annex by ordinance.
Legislative records show Haslam signed the bill with little fanfare on Tuesday.
The law requires cities annex by consent of a landowner or through referendum votes approved by a majority of the landowners to be annexed.
To protect farmers, land used primarily for agricultural purposes can't be annexed unless the farmer agrees.
"This was truly a movement by the people and would not have occurred without the teamwork of many making their wishes known to state government," said bill sponsor Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, in a news release.
The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson.